Airtel Africa invested $500m on additional spectrum in five African Countries in the past year, TechEconomy can report.
According to Airtel Africa plc Results for the year ended 31 March 2023, the group acquired spectrum in Nigeria, the DRC, Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya in the year under review.
Commenting on the spectrum investment, Mr. Olusegun Ogunsanya, the chief executive officer, Airtel Africa said:
Over the year, we invested $500m on additional spectrum, including 5G, across many of our OpCos which, combined with our capex, will underpin our growth ambitions”.
He said that, despite this investment, and driven by a disciplined capital allocation policy, Airtel’s balance sheet remains strong and has been further de-risked over the last year by the prepayment of $450m HoldCo debt in July last year.
“Currencies across our footprint have been under pressure, and the impact from the revaluation of our foreign currency denominated liabilities provided some headwinds in the last financial year.
“While currency devaluation is not in our control, we have plans to continue to mitigate its impact by growing our revenues at a faster pace than devaluation, with double-digit revenue growth in reported currency delivered this year and as we continue to reduce our foreign currency exposure across our balance sheet.
Ogunsanya added that Airtel Africa’s six-pillar strategy continues to provide the basis for stakeholder value creation by facilitating continued expansion of its services to enhance both digital and financial inclusion across Africa. “This strategy will continue and will be underpinned by our sustainability strategy as articulated in our Sustainability Report published in October 2022”, he said.
TechEconomy had reported on December 7, 2023, an announcement by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) that by the close of business on Monday, December 5, 2022, only two companies expressed interest in the auction of the 3.5GHz Spectrum band (READ HERE).
Airtel was later declared the winner of the auction.